Oswald Peraza saw the steady stream of his Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre teammates receiving promotions to the big leagues, some eventually riding the shuttle back to Northeast Pennsylvania and others sticking in The Show. The young shortstop wondered when his call would come, though he knew that was a matter out of his control.
He certainly did not expect it to come as he rounded the bases on Sept. 1, having cleared the fences in the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets’ top farm affiliate. Peraza received congratulations for his 19th homer of the season; a few innings later, he was being hugged again in the dugout, removed from the game and instructed to hustle toward the big leagues.
“You’re short for words when you hear that you’re finally going to the big leagues and you might have an opportunity to play short for the Yankees,” Peraza said through an interpreter. “You think about the path and all the different levels to get here. I’ve been playing this sport since I was a little kid. It’s very exciting.”
The 22-year-old Peraza is rated as the Yanks' No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline and ranks No. 53 on the Top 100 Prospects list. He made his big league debut with a pinch-hitting appearance in a Sept. 2 loss to the Rays, then used the next two days under Tropicana Field’s oatmeal-colored roof to settle his nerves.
“I’m so focused on my work and development, my day-to-day responsibilities,” Peraza said. “You focus on that and the training, what we’re working on. At the same time, to see fellow teammates make it to the big leagues, it’s also their dream to make it to the big leagues. You feel joy and happiness for them because they’ve been working hard to get to this level.”
Peraza’s Yankee Stadium debut would prove to be one worth remembering, coming in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, a 5-4 walk-off win in 12 innings. Peraza collected his first Major League hit in the third inning, lashing a double into the left-field corner off Twins rookie Louie Varland, then singled in the sixth before scoring on Gleyber Torres’ game-tying homer.
Peraza notched his third hit of the day in the eighth, then reached on an error in the 10th before finally making an out, flying out to left field in the 12th -- just ahead of a game-winning knock by Oswaldo Cabrera, whose single snapped an 0-for-25 skid and gave the Bombers their Major League-leading 14th walk-off win of the season. Cabrera’s hit was the first walk-off by a Yankees rookie since Mike Ford on Sept. 1, 2019, vs. Oakland.
“It seems to me that everything they’re doing, they’re doing well,” said right-hander Domingo Germán, who started the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. “They bring so much energy to the clubhouse, to the veterans in the clubhouse. They’re focused, paying attention and executing. This is a high-adrenaline game; that they can still go out there and perform is just a telltale sign of how good they’re going to be in the future.”